Friday, October 3, 2008

Ian Duncan returns to action

Ian Duncan takes his newly built Nissan Patrol pick through a recee drive early this week. Photos/ANWAR SIDI 

By CHRIS MUSUMBA

Former national rally champion Ian Duncan is expected to give the bigwigs a run for their money in his newly built Nissan Patrol Pick-up car, which is making its debut in Sunday’s KCB S&L Rally in Olepolos and Corner Baridi.

With the Kenya national Rally Championship (KNRC) title race balanced on a knife edge, the return of Duncan with a faster and stronger machine is likely to shuffle the seeding though he has no title ambitions himself. His car past the mechanic test and will wait for scruitneering on Saturday.

“All I need is to test the car. It is new so we have to be cautious on how we race in it. But I will give it my best shot and hope it give back the reliance expected,” he said.

Duncan was due to recee on Friday to analyse the car’s performance after having just finished building it.

He started the season in supplementary category in a Ford Mustang which he drove in the Kenya Airways Classic rally championship last year.

However, the 1974 car was not fast enough to tackle the short acute corners of the KNRC initial rounds and has since moved a gear up to the four wheel.

However, Duncan believes, the championship will not be wrapped up tomorrow despite Baldev Chager having opened a 100 point gap over his pursuant.

Top seed Azar Anwar is fourth with 222 points after Triton Petroleum sponsored Chager 355, Carl Tundo 255 of Dalbit petroleum and Lee Rose 250.

A total of 40 drivers, 30 in the main event and 10 in the two wheel category are gearing up for the challenge in the event which its director Jim Kahumbura said will test their machine resilience and drivers endurance. The two are crucial in determining the overall winner in the KNRC.

Spoiler

Duncan said that he might just be the spoiler element required in the championship to postpone the enthroning of a new series champion.

Scruitneering will be done on Saturday at the Triton Petrol station in Karen while drivers still have a chance to recee before Sunday’s flag off at the KCB Kawangware branch.

Meanwhile, Julius Ngigi, Samira Khan and Sanyay Wason are the new navigators coming into rallying and have a challenge to help their respective drivers gain in the last minute bid to strike the jackpot in respective categories.

The three co-drivers have been drafted into the rallying action with the three rounds remaining as top three drivers OiLibya’s Azar Anwar, Aslam Khan and Qientin Mitchel of Virgin Atlanta and MCDonalds position themselves to wrest the overall title which is shaping up with only three legs to go.

Khan who is expected to wrap up the Classic car title with victory in Olepolos this Sunday, has picked on female navigator Samira Khan to guide him through the rough and longer stages of the KCB S&L rally in Corner Baridi.

Khan is short of just three points to claim the Classic Cars title with Farhaaz Khan having inscribed his names on the silverware in the navigators trophy.

The 29-year-old Samira will replace Farhaaz in the ALS rally team having gained some experience when she recceed in Ngong, and was in Nanyuki and Mogotio.

Azar Anwar has lost Imran Khan who is abroad and has signed up Ngigi to propel him through the remaining campaign starting with Olepolos this weekend, Mombasa next month and the final round at the Guru Nanak while Quinten Mitchel is banking on Wason.